Celebrating Turf Traditions

The Engine Shed, Stirling Wednesday 5th September 2018


Turf is the Cinderella of earth building in the UK, long forgotten and almost vanished, but it was a historically a key construction material until the 19th century. Recently there has been a surge in recording on archaeological sites, renewed interest in the skills and diversity of this tradition, and recognition of its wider bio-regional context.

EBUKI is holding a day of wide-ranging presentations sharing recent experience of turf building from practitioners in Scotland, Iceland and Ireland. There will be group discussions
on focused themes to inform future partnership activities. Join us for a day relevant to heritage professionals and enthusiasts engaged with vernacular culture.

 • Turf Archaeology how can we make sense of what we find – recent projects in Glenshee and Glen Coe
Turf Landscapes what are the bioregional & local patterns – Iceland, Ireland, Lewis and Longforgan
Skills Training what do we need, can a national strategy & European partnerships have a growing role?
Sharing Knowledge what outreach activities succeed – The Sheiling Project, Tay Landscape Partnership
Sheiling Culture is the last traditional turf sheiling still out there?
Sustaining Historic Turf what repair materials & techniques work – Huntly, St Kilda & Culloden
• The value of Reconstructions what can we learn by replication – Newtonmore & the Netherlands
Contemporary Turf Building is a living tradition possible – Scotland and Iceland



10.00 – 10.05 Introduction Tom Morton, EBUKI
10.05 - 10.20 Roman Turf Building Ben Russell, University of Edinburgh
10.20 – 10.35 Discovering Iron Age Glenshee David Sneddon, Northlight Heritage
10.35 – 10.50 Glencoe’s Turf Settlements Daniel Rhodes, National Trust for Scotland
10.50 – 11.05 Stirlingshire Turf John Harrison, Scottish Vernacular Building Working Group UNCONFIRMED
11.05 – 11.20 The Urban Turf Buildings of Longforgan Tom Morton, Tay Landscape Partnership
11.20 – 11.40 Understanding the Cleits on St Kilda Dr. Kevin Grant, Historic Environment Scotland
11.40 – 12.00 Cuishader – a Sheiling Settlement Ally Morrison or Tom Morton
12.00 – 12.30 Discussion

12.30 – 13.15 LUNCH

13.15 – 13.30 Reconstructing Turf Houses in the Netherlands Daniel Postma
13.30 – 13.45 Turf Buildings as a Visitor Attraction Highland Building Museum? UNCONFIRMED
13.30 – 13.45 Contemplating a Turf Dyke Landscape Bob Clark, Auchindrain Township
13.45 – 14.00 Learning Through Turf: The Sheiling Project Sam Harrison? UNCONFIRMED
14.00 – 14.05 Building A Turf Lime Kiln Becky Little
14.05 – 14.20 Contemporary Turf Walling: The Blair House Joel Franklyn or Tom Morton
14.20 – 14.25 Comrie Croft: A Turf Bunkhouse James Fussell UNCONFIRMED
14.25 – 14.35 6 Years of Iceland Mobilities Libby Urquhart, The Archnet
14.35 – 14.45 The European Earth Training Network Tom Morton or Becky Little

14.45 – 15.15 TEA / COFFEE

15.15 – 15.45 Turf Building In Ireland – Dr. Fidelma Mullane
15.45 – 16.15 Turf In Iceland – Bryndís & Guðný Zoëga, Sigríður & Helgi Sigurðardóttir, Skagafjörður Heritage Museum
16.15 – 16.45 Discussion

Cost - £50 EBUKI is keen to enable wide participation and bursaries are available on application to tom@ebuki.co


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